A Parcel Tax for San Leandro Schools

I support a measure that would raise revenue for our local public schools to lower class sizes. California has some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the nation. Large classes are an obstacle to student achievement and cause stress for teachers leading to greater teacher turnover and less young persons entering the profession. 
The school district's current $39 annual parcel tax expires on June 30, 2018. 
Here is a recent letter to the San Leandro Times from the local teachers' union President Jon Sherr on this topic:
There has been a quiet renaissance in the San Leandro public schools over the last 5 years. 
The changes have been numerous and when taken as a whole, dramatic. 
A partial list includes: increased Advanced Placement enrollment leading to a recent award by College Board naming SLHS a national leader (San Leandro Times, April 12), SAT testing for all high school juniors, ongoing improvements to each school’s facilities, teacher-led staff development, the maintenance of a comprehensive Career Technical Education Program, state-of-the art K-12 libraries, and technology improvements including bringing the ratio of computers to students from 1 to 40 to 1 to 1 in four years.
Not everyone may be aware of all these improvements, but our district has grown by over 320 students in the last 2 years while neighboring districts have seen declining enrollment. Parents know good things are happening in our district. 
The San Leandro Teachers’ Association has worked collaboratively with district management to usher in these improvements. It has been a dynamic and exciting time of growth. We look forward to continuing the work of improving our schools for the children of San Leandro. 
Our community has been very generous in passing construction bonds to support the building and upgrading of facilities. It now time for our community to consider supporting a modest parcel tax to insure that the trajectory of program improvement continues. San Leandro is one of the few surrounding communities that does not have a parcel tax. 
Our neighboring districts understand that state funding for schools is inadequate. We have made huge strides, but it begs the question, what more could we achieve with greater community support? The answer is clear…a parcel tax would position us to build upon this renaissance and create more opportunities for the children of San Leandro. 
—Jon Sherr
San Leandro Teachers’ Association

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